The Cardiff City Council cancelled a civic reception for internationally renowned evangelist Luis Palau because of his "extreme evangelical beliefs."

The cancellation was prompted by Welsh Assembly Government Member Lorraine Barrett's attack on Palau for his stance on homosexuality and other religions. "To fund such an event for a figure who holds extreme views on sensitive social issues is, in my opinion, a terrible way of spending public money," Barrett said. "I am very concerned at some of the views espoused by Mr. Palau, which are very narrow and critical of anyone who does not follow his evangelical beliefs. I think he is a right-wing reactionary individual. I also think it is dodgy mixing religion and politics in this way. I think he and people like Billy Graham exploit vulnerable people."

Palau, who was in Cardiff for the Welsh Revival Centenary Celebrations, expressed deep disappointment with the decision, and said an unknown person spread misinformation about his beliefs. He also criticized a growing attitude in Britain and Europe that suggests anyone who believes in Jesus must be "intellectually moronic or extremist."

"The person who said this obviously had a destructive purpose," Palau said. "I can see no other reason for this. On my call shows, we respond to questions from gays and lesbians. I talk to them and often pray with them. I have nothing but the utmost respect."

Palau described the decision as "anti-Christian fundamentalism."

According to the Operation World prayer guide, since the Welsh Revival of 1904-05, the region of 2.9 million people has experienced the highest rate of church closings and the largest decline of church attendance in the United Kingdom.

A spokesman for Lord Mayor Jacqui Gasson said, "The ...

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'Extreme' Orthodoxy
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January 2005

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